Lesbians, Gay Men and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 40, pp. 223-248, 2000

26 Pages Posted: 27 May 2008

See all articles by Brenda Cossman

Brenda Cossman

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

The legacy of the first twenty years of the Charter for lesbians and gay men is a contradictory one of victories and defeats. At the level of doctrine, strategy, and politics, both the victories and defeats have been precarious and contradictory. While gaining formal equality rights, lesbians and gay men have not been able to secure rights to sexual freedom. And while formal equality has displaced the heteronormativity that denied legal recognition and subjectivity to lesbians and gay men, this formal equality has come at a cost. Lesbians and gay men are being reconstituted in law: some are being newly constituted as legal citizens while others are being re-inscribed as outlaws. The first twenty years of the Charter is a legacy of transgression and normalization; these new legal subjects are both challenging dominant modes of legal subjectivity and its insistence of heterosexuality, while being absorbed into them.

Suggested Citation

Cossman, Brenda, Lesbians, Gay Men and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (2002). Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 40, pp. 223-248, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1137947

Brenda Cossman (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-6658 (Phone)

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